WWE Champion Drew McIntyre Confronted Dolph Ziggler on The VIP Lounge Hosted by MVP
The back-and-forth between MVP and Ziggler early on about the upcoming WWE Championship match at Extreme Rules was decent and McIntyre's mic work was good, but I'm glad this was kept on the shorter side. I honestly don't think there's much WWE can do to get me excited for their encounter, just because Ziggler as a title contender in 2020 does nothing for me. There's supposed to be suspense over what stipulation Ziggler will choose, but I'm not exactly waiting with bated breath to find out. I will say that McIntyre punching Ziggler before walking off was great, though.
Angel Garza and Andrade def. The Viking Raiders in an Elimination Tag Team Match
These teams worked well together the last time they clashed two weeks ago and this was entertaining as well. I don't know if I'd go so far as to call it a "grudge match," but the elimination stipulation was a nice touch. You had to know it was going to come down to Erik and Garza after both of them "swooned" Charly Caruso backstage beforehand and, obviously, Garza winning was the right call. A Raw Tag Team Championship opportunity should be in their immediate future, but I don't know when The Street Profits are expected back.
Bianca Belair and Ruby Riott def. The IIconics
It's been three months I believe since we last saw Belair in action on Raw. She's been a regular on Main Event since then, but why did they bother calling her up from NXT if they had no immediate plans to use her? Nonetheless, this was a perfectly fine match and I'm glad Belair and Riott got to shine. I assume Belair was plugged in as Riott's partner with Liv Morgan still being out for unexplained reasons. From a storyline standpoint, I honestly don't see why Riott would need Morgan's help at this point if she has Belair.
Shayna Baszler Sent a Message to the Raw Women's Division
I think Baszler officially turned babyface when she interrupted R-Truth vs. Akira Tozawa before it could happen again. In all seriousness, it was fantastic to see Baszler back after being away for two months. Part of me was hoping she'd win the 24/7 Championship from Truth and proceed to throw it in the trash, but no such luck. Instead, she cut a strong promo putting the entire Raw women's division notice. Here's hoping WWE are done playing games with Baszler and are intent on pushing her to the top from here on out. However, seeing is believing based on how she's been booked on the main roster so far.
Aleister Black def. Murphy by Disqualification
Black and Murphy had a strong series of matches late last year and earlier this year, so it was cool to see them rekindle that rivalry here. What we got from them was fun, but it didn't last long before Seth Rollins interfered. In other words, this was always meant to transition into Owens vs. Rollins and wasn't the main focus. The mic work from Rollins and Rey Mysterio beforehand was good, but I'm very skeptical going into that Eye for an Eye outing at Extreme Rules, to say the least.
Kevin Owens def. Seth Rollins
Similar to Black and Murphy, these two have excellent chemistry together as well. This wasn't on par with their WrestleMania match, but it was still entertaining. I'm actually surprised Rollins lost ahead of his "Eye for an Eye" match with Mysterio at Extreme Rules, but considering he lost last week too, it's safe to say he's winning on Sunday. I have no idea what that means for this storyline and Dominik's involvement in it, however. Owens could fill in for Mysterio, but I'd rather he move onto something else entirely after feuding with Rollins from November through April.
Randy Orton def. 24/7 Champion R-Truth (Non-Title)
This match came to be after Truth accidentally bumped into Orton backstage. I appreciated it was advertised in advance, but I don't know how many people turned into Raw just to see Orton face the 24/7 Champion in a non-title matchup. It was exactly what it needed to be with Orton winning within seconds. Orton vs. Big Show in a Non-Sanctioned match was made official afterward but for next week's Raw instead of Extreme Rules. It should be a decent ratings booster for that show, but I can't be the only one who thinks it's illogical to hold what is essentially a No Disqualification bout the night after a pay-per-view called Extreme Rules. Oh well.
Bobby Lashley def. Ricochet
These two had a very enjoyable match a few weeks ago on Raw, but this was significantly shorter and was designed to put Lashley over strong, which it did. Lashley and MVP vs. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander really isn't much of a "feud" when the heels are winning every week. Speaking of Alexander, MVP teased recruiting him into his faction last week, but there didn't seem to be any real followup on that here aside from Lashley attacking him. I'd be down for Alexander joining them, but it seems the chances of that happening at this point are slim.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley def. The Kabuki Warriors
With Banks set to challenge Asuka for the Raw Women's Championship at Extreme Rules, this was the perfect main event for the go-home show and having the titles up for grabs was a big help. Granted, I never got the sense that they were in jeopardy of changing hands, but it was a top-notch main event nonetheless with everyone putting in an outstanding effort. Banks got to beat Sane after failing to do so last week in addition to building momentum ahead of Sunday, so this was a terrific piece of business all around.
That tag team title main event ended the evening on a high note, but I don't know how effective the overall show was in getting me more excited for Extreme Rules than I was before (and I wasn't highly anticipating it in the first place). Everything involving Raw that's being advertised for the event was hyped up and even Orton vs. Show was announced for next Monday night, but it wasn't a hot three hours by any means. That said, the in-ring action was above average and the women's division was properly showcased for a change, so that was a plus. Belair and Baszler returning is a step in the right direction with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair gone for the foreseeable future.